NHL Playoffs: Edmonton Oilers vs. Vancouver Canucks | Round 2, Game 3 | 05/12/2024

(Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

“Game Time Decision” Of course, Leon Draisaitl was going to play in Game 2. Hockey is a magical sport where athletes pretend that they’re not injured. He scored on the powerplay, added 3 assists, and even took a face-off on a penalty kill. Did any of that look like a hurting player to you? All that anxiety for nothing.

It also shouldn’t have surprised anyone to see him on the top line with Connor McDavid and Zach Hyman. That’s very reminiscent of the 2022 Playoffs when he suffered a high ankle sprain at the end of the first round and got put with McDavid and Evander Kane because he wasn’t healthy enough to center his own line. Expect that for at least all of Round 2 this year. If Edmonton advances further, who knows if Draisaitl will heal up and be put back on the second line.

Both the Oilers and Canucks fanbases expressed their displeasure with the officiating on Friday night. A couple of boarding instances weren’t called, and a couple of high-sticking instances weren’t called. McDavid got away with making Quinn Hughes’ cheek bleed; he should’ve been given a double-minor. Playoff hockey has always been like that, we have to just “Let the players play.” But if Kelly Sutherland officiates another game in this series, may the Hockey Gods help us all.

Vancouver’s third period in Game 2 mirrors Edmonton’s third period in Game 1, brutal. The Oilers won’t always have a 15-2 shot count in a period, but the closest thing to that would be nicer than what I vented about an article ago; and I’m sure Canucks fans feel the same way. On this Sunday night, will it be Oilers fan mothers or Canucks fan mothers happy dancing? The keys to the game are…

Back Home: The Oilers bring a much-needed series split to Rogers Place. I love the rowdiness of a Canadian hockey crowd. We heard Vancouver’s fans, now we see what momentum comes from hearing Edmonton’s fans.

Undercooked Stu: Stuart Skinner has looked well below his best to open the second round. Not that he didn’t make some good saves in Game 2, but the third goal he allowed can’t happen often in a Playoff run. 3 goals on 19 shots is not the most flattering statistic. Arturs Silovs deserves nothing but credit for having himself a great game in a losing effort. But we need to see the Round 1 version of Skinner again.

Unlikely Scorers: Nikita Zadorov has two goals in back-to-back games for Vancouver. Mattias Ekholm is coming off a 40+ point season for Edmonton, but I didn’t expect that same performance from him either. Cody Ceci even got himself on the scoresheet in Game 1. Evan Bouchard has lots of assists but picked the right time to score his 2nd goal on Friday. One beauty of the Playoffs is finding unsung heroes, we need to see guys step up and support the stars. And not every goal they score has to be pretty. Learn to score more fluke garbage goals like in Overtime of Game 2.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

Stephen Vani

Oilers fan in Toronto. Staying up past my bedtime for Western games since the mid 2000s.

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